Pledges of Human Rights Council Candidates vs. the Reality 2019


According to the UN General Assembly resolution that created the Council (A/RES/60/251, adopted March 15, 2006): "when electing members of the Council, Member States shall take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto;"

INDONESIA

The Human Rights Pledge of Indonesia
    "2. As a country that has been resolute in upholding its constitutional mandate and commitments to implement global norms on human rights, Indonesia underscores the importance of its candidature to the Human Rights Council. Indonesia 's 1945 Constitution mandates the Government of Indonesia to contribute actively to the creation of global peace and justice as well as to guarantee the promotion and protection of human rights. Indonesia, therefore, is a firm believer that human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated and interdependent, and that all human rights must be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis."
    (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - Indonesia, A/74/203)
Some of what Indonesia neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "Human rights issues included reports of arbitrary or unlawful killings by government security forces; torture by police; arbitrary detention by the government; harsh and life-threatening conditions in prisons and detention centers; political prisoners; censorship, including laws addressing treason, blasphemy, defamation, and decency, site blocking, and criminal libel; corruption and attempts by government elements to undermine efforts to prosecute corrupt officials; criminalization of same-sex sexual activities at the local level and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and forced or compulsory labor."
    (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Indonesia 2018, U.S. Department of State)

IRAQ

The Human Rights Pledge of Iraq
    "3. Iraq strives to ensure harmony among cultures, religions and civilizations through respect, tolerance and solidarity and to eliminate hate speech and disrespect for any kind of cultural differences.
    ...
    5. Iraq supports concrete efforts towards achieving justice and equality in human rights through the protection of human dignity and values from all forms of discrimination, violence and persecution, as stipulated in the Constitution of Iraq of 2005, and in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
    (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - Iraq, A/74/109)
Some of what Iraq neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "Human rights issues included reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings by some members of the Iraq Security Forces (ISF), particularly Iran-aligned elements of the PMF; forced disappearances; torture; arbitrary detention; harsh and lifethreatening prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including censorship, site blocking, and criminal libel; legal restrictions on freedom of movement of women; widespread official corruption; unlawful recruitment or use of child soldiers by Iran-aligned elements of the PMF that operate outside government control; trafficking in persons; criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) status or conduct; violence targeting LGBTI persons; threats of violence against internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnee populations perceived to have been affiliated with ISIS; and restrictions on worker rights, including restrictions on formation of independent unions and reports of child labor."
    (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Iraq 2018, U.S. Department of State)

LIBYA

The Human Rights Pledge of Libya
    "2. As a Member State, Libya is among the countries that heed the fulfilment of their obligations to respect human rights and the rule of law. It has acceded to and ratified all fundamental human rights conventions. It has worked in cooperation with the international community to ensure the promotion and advancement of human rights. Libya is honoured to present its candidature for the Human Rights Council for the period 20202022.

    3. Through its official institutions, Libya is fully committed to the promotion a nd protection of human rights principles at the national, regional and international levels and advocates a broad concept of human rights that includes, in addition to the well-known human rights, the right to direct participation in public life, the right to development and the right to live in a world free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Libya commits itself to continuing to work in cooperation with other countries to consolidate this concept in all countries of the world and to protect these rights in accordance with existing mechanisms under the Human Rights Council."
    (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - Libya, A/74/107)
Some of what Libya neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "Human rights issues included arbitrary and unlawful killings, including of politicians and members of civil society, by extralegal armed groups, ISIS, criminal gangs, and militias, including those affiliated with the government; forced disappearances; torture perpetrated by armed groups on all sides; arbitrary arrest and detention; harsh and life threatening conditions in prison and detention facilities, some of which were outside government control; political prisoners held by nonstate actors; unlawful interference with privacy, often by nonstate actors; undue restrictions on free expression and the press, including violence against journalists and criminalization of political expression ; widespread corruption; trafficking in persons; criminalization of sexual orientation; and use of forced labor. Impunity from prosecution was a severe and pervasive problem."
    (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Libya 2018, U.S. Department of State)

MAURITANIA

The Human Rights Pledge of Mauritania
    "1. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania presents its candidacy to the Human Rights Council, for the period 20202022,
    ...
    5. In addition, Mauritania adheres to all the universal principles of international law, international humanitarian law and human rights. In this regard, it has made notable progress in recent years in promoting and protecting civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as in strengthening the legal and institutional framework for human rights. Thus, improving the living conditions of detainees, preventing torture, fighting slavery practices and all other practices harmful to children, women and persons living with disabilities have all known significant achievements."
    (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - Mauritania, A/74/472)
Some of what Mauritania neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "Human rights issues included allegations of torture by law enforcement officers; arbitrary and politically motivated arrests; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; restrictions on freedom of assembly, association, and religion; widespread corruption; rape and domestic violence against women with few victims seeking legal recourse; ethnic discrimination by government actors; criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct; continued existence of slavery and slavery-related practices with antislavery organizations subjected to restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and assembly; trafficking in persons; and minimal efforts to combat child labor."
    (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Mauritania 2018, U.S. Department of State)

NAMIBIA

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED

SUDAN

The Human Rights Pledge of Sudan
    "1. The Sudanese revolution of 19 December 2018 created a new reality in the political atmosphere regarding the establishment of a State of good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
    ...
    6. Sudan will continue to support the important role played by civil society and non-governmental organizations in developing human rights and in disseminating a human rights culture."
    (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - Sudan, A/74/494)
Some of what Sudan neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "Human rights issues included unlawful or arbitrary killings, forced disappearance, torture, and arbitrary detention, all by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; political prisoners; arrests and intimidation of journalists, censorship, newspaper seizures, and site blocking; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, such as overly restrictive nongovernmental organization (NGO) laws; restrictions on religious liberty; restrictions on political participation; corruption; lack of accountability in cases involving violence against women, including rape and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); trafficking in persons; outlawing of independent trade unions; and child labor... Impunity remained a problem in all branches of the security forces and government institutions."
    (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Sudan 2018, U.S. Department of State)

VENEZUELA

The Human Rights Pledge of Venezuela
    "1. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a democratic and social State of law and justice. Its Political Constitution is a recent innovation and has been recognized as one of the most advanced constitutions in the world. The Venezuelan Constitution provides full guarantees of human rights. Through its participative and proactive democracy, which promotes a broad-based and pluralistic exchange of ideas, the State has been implementing policies to achieve social, economic and cultural equality as well as the exercise of civil and political rights. Thus, through its domestic laws and practical actions, the State is working to ensure that the fact that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated is understood, respected and promoted."
    (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - Venezuela, A/74/346)
Some of what Venezuela neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "Human rights issues included extrajudicial killings by security forces, including colectivos (government-sponsored armed groups); torture by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; and political prisoners. The government restricted free expression and the press by routinely blocking signals, and interfering with the operations of, or shutting down, privately owned television, radio, and other media outlets. Libel, incitement, and inaccurate reporting were subject to criminal sanctions. The government used violence to repress peaceful demonstrations. Other issues included restrictions on political participation in the form of presidential elections in May that were not free or fair; pervasive corruption and impunity among all security forces and in other national and state government offices, including at the highest levels; trafficking in persons; and the worst forms of child labor, which the government made minimal efforts to eliminate. The government took no effective action to investigate officials who committed human rights abuses, and there was impunity for such abuses."
    (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Venezuela 2018, U.S. Department of State)